Teaching Traveling: Have you ever wondered how to travel to dozens of countries around the world cheaply as a teacher?
Have you wondered if there was an age limit to travel?
Read this interview with American teacher Marilyn Cook and be inspired and educated! Marilyn, tell us about yourself.
Marilyn: I am a small-town Mississippian, transported to metropolitan Jacksonville, Florida, kind of with two lives.
The first year out of college I taught in Nome, Alaska, after that Las Vegas, Nevada, 18 years in Mississippi, then 21 years in Florida.
I have traveled to Europe with a Cosmos tour, to England and Colorado with Friendship Force, to England again volunteering at a YWAM mission base, to Austria and Germany, then to the Caribbean, Valley Forge, Grand Canyon, along with volunteer work at Ridgecrest, NC.
I worked with a restoration project in France.
I’ve also traveled through New England, Virginia, Israel, taught in China, Hawaii, Turkey, and worked at a YWAM base in Switzerland.
TT: Wowza! Tell us more about these travels.
M: A very interesting travel opportunity was two years ago in Turkey on the Mediterranean.
I home schooled for a YWAM couple for one year.
I taught middle schoolers Ancient History in the land where it all started.
It was more than awesome.
The family was a model Christian family. The team was extraordinary, the international church runs a busy program, and the country is beautiful. I lived out in a village with the sheep and goats passing by every day with a 2,000 year old settlement just over the ridge behind the house. It really fit me.
TT: Amazing! How did you find this teaching traveling opportunity?
M: I found this advertisement in a YWAM Scotland newsletter.
TT: How did you fund your travels?
M: My host family paid my flight, my apartment rent, and I ate with them. I only had expenses of my own to Istanbul, Pamukkale, and Cappadocia.
TT: Fantastic. Tell us a travel moment that was particularly powerful.
M: When I lived in Alaska, Paul Green, an Eskimo, taught some of us 9 single teachers from “outside” to Eskimo dance. That was just one fun thing we did in that very social year in the wild beautiful Arctic.
TT: Ooo, sounds spicy! How have your travels impacted you as a teacher?
M: My travels have given me stories to tell to students and well as friends.
I also have beautiful photo albums to share and DVD’s I make on my movie maker program on my computer.
TT: How has travel impacted you as a person?
M: Yes, traveling is something I am addicted to as a person.
I love reminiscing, staying in touch with people I have met, and dreaming up another adventure.
TT: What words of advice do you have for teachers dreaming of travel?
M: I have done volunteer jobs with room and board covered.
So many of my trips have been economical.
For instance, when I volunteer at YWAM bases, I trade my services for room and board and then am able to sight-see as well.
In England, my job was cooking. Then every weekend I went down to Victoria Station and went sightseeing out of London. I saw so many really neat places.
In Lausanne, Switzerland, I was near Lake Geneva, and saw many places in that area as well as the Alps. At that base I mostly did laundry and made beds.
At Ridgecrest Baptist Campground, I volunteered, and worked in the Starbucks coffee shop. In China, our room and board was a trade off for our teaching.
Also, I am a member of the Educators Bed and Breakfast.
You only pay $40 a night for two when you stay in teachers’ homes.
I did that on the New England and Virginia trip.
And some of those trips I stayed with relatives, so my traveling opportunities have been divine appointments almost a lot of the time.
TT: Marilyn, thank you for sharing your fascinating, highly useful experiences!
You make SUCH a good point: That when you volunteer during travel, you not only save a huge amount of money, but you also make a big difference for others…
…and have a great time, yourself!
I found this to be true during my travels in Ghana, that volunteering was the key to affordable, enjoyable travel.
Readers, what questions do you have?
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English from Boston who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched TeachingTraveling.com in 2010 to share expert global education resources, and over 1.6 million readers have visited over the past decade. Lillie also runs AroundTheWorld L.com Travel and Life Blog, and DrawingsOf.com for educational cartoons. Do stay in touch via subscribing to her monthly newsletter, and following @WorldLillie on social media!